Video commentary on Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:12 by Dr. Bob Utley, retired Professor of Hermeneutics (Bible Interpretation). Ecclesiastes, like Job, must be interpreted as a whole. It is a sustained sarcasm through chap. 12. It is a tongue-in-cheek sarcastic look at life without God. The key phrase is "under the sun." Solomon is surely the literary foil of chapters 1-2 because of his wisdom, wealth and position. But there are hints that he is not the true author: (1) in 1:12, "I was king over Israel in Jerusalem" - past tense; (2) in 1:16, "... more than all who were over Jerusalem before" - only David was before Solomon; (3) in 4:1-3; 5:8 and 8:9 governmental abuse is discussed but as hopeless; and (4) the name Solomon does not occur in the book. The very fact of this book's presence in the canon seems to imply that God does not reject the sincere, doubtful seeker. Asking ultimate questions is not discouraged. Ecclesiastes assumes the existence of God and is written within the stream of the OT faith. Evil is a result of man, not God. God's ways cannot be known. Man must struggle for the meaning in life but be content! Part of the "You Can Understand the Bible"TM series. For more of Dr. Utley's Bible study guides, and audio and video sermons and commentaries, go to www.freebiblecommentary.org.